, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 550–555 | Cite as

Swallowing in Patients with Parkinson’s Disease: A Surface Electromyography Study

  • Maria das Graças WS Coriolano
  • Luciana R Belo
  • Danielle Carneiro
  • Amdore G Asano
  • Paulo José AL Oliveira
  • Douglas Monteiro da Silva
  • Otávio G Lins
Original Article


Our goal was to study deglutition of Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients and normal controls (NC) using surface electromyography (sEMG). The study included 15 patients with idiopathic PD and 15 age-matched normal controls. Surface electromyography was collected over the suprahyoid muscle group. Conditions were the following: swallow at once 10 and 20 ml of water and 5 and 10 ml of yogurt of firm consistency, and freely drink 100 ml of water. During swallowing, durations of sEMG were significantly longer in PD patients than in normal controls but no significant differences of amplitudes were found. Eighty percent of the PD patients and 20 % of the NC needed more than one swallow to consume 20 ml of water, while 70 % of the PD patients and none of the NC needed more than one swallow to consume 5 ml of yogurt. PD patients took significantly more time and needed significantly more swallows to drink 100 ml of water than normal controls. We conclude that sEMG might be a simple and useful tool to study and monitor deglutition in PD patients.


Parkinson’s disease Deglutition Deglutition disorders Dysphagia Surface electromyography 


Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria das Graças WS Coriolano
    • 1
    • 5
  • Luciana R Belo
    • 2
  • Danielle Carneiro
    • 6
  • Amdore G Asano
    • 3
  • Paulo José AL Oliveira
    • 4
  • Douglas Monteiro da Silva
    • 2
  • Otávio G Lins
    • 7
  1. 1.Department of AnatomyFederal University of Pernambuco, Cidade UniversitáriaRecifeBrazil
  2. 2.Neuropsychiatry and Behavioural Sciences Postgraduation ProgramFederal University of Pernambuco, BrazilRecifeBrazil
  3. 3.Pro-Parkinson service, Clinical HospitalFederal University of PernambucoRecifeBrazil
  4. 4.Maurício de Nassau College, Recife, BrazilRecifeBrazil
  5. 5.VarzeaBrazil
  6. 6.Department of Occupational TherapyFederal University of ParaíbaJoão PessoaBrazil
  7. 7.Department of NeuropsychiatryFederal University of PernambucoRecifeBrazil

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